Dr. Frank Phillips is First in the World to Use Augmented Reality Surgical Guidance in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

June 17, 2020

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush announced today that Dr. Frank Phillips, Professor and Director of the Division of Spine Surgery and the Section of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery at Rush University Medical Center, completed the first augmented reality (AR) minimally invasive spine surgery. The Augmedics xvision™ Spine System surgical guidance system allows a surgeon to see a patient’s 3-dimensional (3D) spinal anatomy through skin as if they have x-ray vision. Using this new technology, Dr. Phillips performed a lumbar fusion with spinal implants on a patient with spinal instability at Rush University Medical Center on June 15.

The FDA-cleared xvision system is designed to revolutionize how surgery is done by giving the surgeon better control and visualization, which can lead to easier, faster and safer surgeries. Dr. Phillips reports the patient, who was experiencing severe back pain and limited mobility prior to the surgery, is doing well.

“Having 3-dimensional (3D) spinal anatomic and 2-dimensional (2D) CT scan images directly projected onto the surgeon’s retina and superimposed over the surgical field takes spinal surgery to another level,” said Dr. Phillips. “Being able to place minimally invasive spinal instrumentation extremely accurately and efficiently, reducing surgical time and complication risk, is critical to improving outcomes for spinal surgery. Traditional surgical navigation platforms have been shown to improve accuracy of implant placement, however using augmented reality allows for the advantages of traditional (non-3D) navigation plus the ability to visualize the patients spinal anatomy in 3D through the skin.”

The xvision Spine System – developed by Chicago-based Augmedics – consists of a transparent near-eye-display headset. It accurately determines the position of surgical tools, in real time, and a virtual trajectory is then superimposed on the patient’s CT data. In a minimally invasive procedure, the 3D navigation data is then projected onto the surgeon’s retina using the headset, allowing him or her to simultaneously look at the patient and see the navigation data without averting his or her eyes to a remote screen during the procedure. In a percutaneous cadaver study performed by Dr. Phillips and colleagues at Rush Medical Center, the xvision Spine System demonstrated 98.9 percent screw placement accuracy.

“When we set out to create a better navigation system, we knew it had to be intuitively designed to work within the surgical workflow and align the hands and eyes of the surgeon, eliminating the need to avert his or her eyes to an ancillary screen. Our innovative visualization technology breaks down the wall between traditional navigation and the patient,” said Nissan Elimelech, founder and CEO, Augmedics. “Moreover, the xvision Spine System’s 3D anatomy visualization allows surgeons to accurately guide instruments and implants intraoperatively, in real time, while looking directly at the patient, as if they had x-ray vision.”

About Augmedics

With Augmedics, the future of surgery is within sight. The Chicago-based company aims to improve healthcare by augmenting surgery with cutting edge technologies that solve unmet clinical needs and instill technological confidence in the surgical workflow. Its pioneering xvision system, the first augmented reality guidance system for surgery, allows surgeons to “see” the patient’s anatomy through skin and tissue as if they have “x-ray vision,” and to accurately navigate instruments and implants during spine procedures. Augmedics plans to explore additional surgical applications for xvision beyond spinal surgery. The system’s small footprint, economical cost and compatibility with current instrumentation are designed to allow easy integration into any surgical facility nationwide. Augmedics is backed by Terra Venture Partners and AO Invest, a venture arm of the AO Foundation. The AO is a medically guided, not-for-profit organization, a global network of surgeons, and the world’s leading education, innovation, and research organization for the surgical treatment of trauma and musculoskeletal disorders. For more information, visit www.augmedics.com.

About Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush

Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush (MOR) offers comprehensive, unparalleled, orthopedic services as well as physical and occupational therapy. MOR doctors are team physicians for the Chicago Bulls, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Fire Soccer Club and Joffrey Ballet, among others. They are known for treating patients with orthopedic conditions, ranging from the most common to the most complex. U.S. News & World Report ranks the orthopedic program at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, as No. 7 in the nation and it is the highest ranked program in Illinois and Indiana. MOR has offices at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago; Geneva (PT); Lincoln Park (PT); Naperville; Oak Brook; Oak Park; Orland Park (PT), Westchester; and Munster, Indiana. For more information or to make an appointment, visit www.rushortho.com/appointments. Follow us on Facebook @MidwestOrthopaedicsatRush or Twitter @mor_docs.


Diana Soltesz
Pazanga Health Communications

Ann Pitcher
Pitcher Communications

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